Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sometimes, re-reading a book is a good thing

I don't usually re-read books a second time, especially if I didn't like them that much the first time around. But Grace Community Church that I attend while here in the D.C. area was offering discussion groups based on the book, so I gave it a shot. I liked the book much more the second time around. Maybe I was used to the author's style a little and could focus more on the parts I liked? Maybe I had a bit of a different perspective from attending this church? Maybe it was just the prospect of being able to discuss the book with others? I don't know what it was, but I'm glad I re-read the book.

This time around I could relate more to the person who didn't like Christianity, but wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God (p. 115). We need to love each other, so we can learn we are lovable (p. 146). This is probably especially important for people who didn't grow up in a loving family. The soul needs to interact with other people to be healthy (p. 154). Self-addiction (p. 182) is a big problem. The author gives Zaccheus as an example. The affection of Christ, not the brutality of a town, healed Zaccheus (p. 183). Which goes back to the importance of loving each other. Jesus was loving and kind to Zaccheus and helped him change that way, where all the rejection of the people in town couldn't change him.

We all believe things we cannot explain, You cannot be a Christian without being a mystic (p. 202). I've felt a similar way, sometimes, Christianity seems like a fairy tale, the story is so amazing, but the really amazing thing is that it's really true, not make believe like all the other stories.
If you see Christianity as religion or ritual, it's a false gospel (p. 203). The problem with the Christian culture around us is that we tend to use love as a commodity, like money. (p. 218). But instead it's a free gift. We need to give love not withholding it (p. 220). Many of us need to develop their ability to receive love as well (p. 226).

These are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom that I found in the book this time around. It turns out in discussing the book that many of us "got it" the first time reading it. For one of us it even gave her a break-through in understanding Jesus' love for her with her heart instead of just in her head for the first time.

(50 books in 2010 count: 40)

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